November 14, 1996 – GM releases its EV1, first electric car

On this day in 1996 General Motors released its first electric car, the EV1. Manufactured in Lansing, Michigan, the EV1 had a range of 70-90 miles before requiring a recharge. More than 1,100 EV1s were produced between 1996 and 1999, making it the first mass produced electric car from a major automaker in nearly a century. It was only available via a lease program based on an MSRP of $33,995.

EV1 interior

The decision to put the vehicle into production followed the successful introduction of a prototype in 1990. However, the car was short lived and EV1 production ended in 1999 among growing interest from the public. GM cited its electric vehicle program as unprofitable. While a handful of the vehicles made it to museums, a majority of them were crushed after the program ended in 2003.

Crushed EV1
Crushed EV1 electric cars